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Flu in children

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:45 pm
The flu, or 'influenza' (in-flu-EHN-zuh), is a viral infection that typically strikes between late December and March. Symptoms of the flu include: chills, drowsiness, weakness, sudden high fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, coughing, sore throat, and a lack of appetite. Young children and infants, also can have vomiting and diarrhea (dye-uh-REE-uh). Antibiotics can't treat flu infection and are used only if a secondary bacterial infection develops, such as pneumonia (new-MOAN-yuh) or an ear infection. Instead, the symptoms are treated. Consult a doctor, and make sure the child rests and drinks plenty of fluids, but don't give aspirin. Instead, use a non-aspirin pain reliever, such as acetaminophen. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccinating children between six months and two years of age, and those with chronic illness, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis (SIS-tick fye-BROH-sis).
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